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news-detail-2Aliquam at ante at elit efficitur tincidunt a quis neque. Donec ut pulvinar metus. Pellentesque lobortis volutpat eros sed sagittis. Nunc rutrum ex eu auctor tristique. Maecenas suscipit vestibulum nunc nec placerat. Phasellus blandit augue nunc, consequat consectetur augue placerat sed. Aenean fermentum scelerisque lectus, sit amet ultricies ex interdum bibendum. Quisque porttitor, enim maximus convallis gravida, dui arcu lacinia libero, quis ornare nibh elit pharetra massa.

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Amber Ivy  (Grancie Company)

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HORIZON 2020: Do you want to join and share EUR 80 billion?

HORIZON 2020: Do you want to join and share EUR 80 billion?

Horizon 2020 is the largest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). The goal of the program is to ensure that Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors in creating innovation. Horizon 2020 offers generous grants in most areas of science and technology aimed for civilian use.

1. Excellent sciences (approx. EUR 24,5 billion). This category is intended to strengthen the EU’s global position in research and innovation.

2. Industrial leadership (approx. EUR 17 billion). The objective is to make Europe more attractive for investment in research and innovation, create jobs and growth, and attract more private and strategic investments to research and innovation. Funding is directed primarily to so-called Key Enabling Technologies including information and communication technologies (ICT), nanotechnologies, advanced materials, advanced manufacturing and processing, biotechnology and space technologies.

3. Societal challenges (approx. EUR 30 billion). This part focuses on the major societal challenges that Europe and the rest of the world faces. In order to meet the challenges, interdisciplinary collaboration projects will be supported. The key challenge areas identified include: health, demographic change and wellbeing; food security, sustainable agriculture, forestry; secure, clean and efficient energy; smart, green and integrated transport; climate action; inclusive, innovative, reflective societies; secure societies.

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Would you be interested to enroll in some of our courses, semester or consultancy we would be pleased to work on your ideas for competitiveness growth.
2018  (EU Funding Accelerator and Academy)

SME Instrument Phase 1-3: Grant amounts

The SME Instrument offers support in three different stages. There are four application cut-off dates per year and the evaluation takes around eight weeks.

Phase 1 Feasibility Assessment (Idea to concept, 6 months, €50.000)

The goal is to explore and assess the technical feasibility and commercial potential of a breakthrough innovation that the SME wants to exploit and commercialize. This will be reflected on a business plan (around 10 pages). The business plan should illustrate the state-of-the-art of the idea, the innovation and market potential of the project, as well as its feasibility in terms of time, resources, and competence.

Phase 2 Innovation Project (Concept to market maturity, 1-2 years, €0.5–2,5 million)

Phase 2 is the sweet spot of the SME Instrument. Here the company will further develop its proposal through innovation activities (e.g. demonstration, miniaturization, validation), and will draft a more developed business plan (around 30 pages). Here it´s important to show that you have a proven business model by explaining in detail the unique selling point of your concept, providing information on commercial competence (competitors and limitations of the project and how you will overcome them), and providing a detailed and realistic explanation of how will you organize your team, budget and time.

Phase 3 Commercialization (Prepare for market launch)

SME´s will receive extensive support, training, networking, mentor-ship and access to risk finance. The aim is to facilitate the commercial exploitation of the innovation activities resulting from Phase 1 or Phase 2. The EU will not provide additional direct funding in this phase.
Topics in the SME Instrument 2017-18

The SME instrument is divided into 13 calls that focus on promoting the various types of innovative solutions. These calls are open during 2017-2018:

Open Disruptive Innovation Scheme – The goal is to provide support to a large set of high risk innovative start-ups and SMEs in the ICT sector.
Accelerating the uptake of nanotechnologies advanced materials or advanced manufacturing and processing technologies by SMEs – Aimed to help industry to implement research results and to create added value by combining existing research results with other necessary elements, transfer results across sectors, accelerate innovation, and eventually create profit or other benefits.
Dedicated support to biotechnology SMEs closing the gap from lab to market – The goal is to facilitate the transition of SMEs between early technological development and market introduction. SMEs working in the field of biotechnology are particularly invited to apply.
Engaging SMEs in space research and development – The goal is to engage SMEs in space research and development, especially those not traditionally involved in it.
Supporting innovative SMEs in the healthcare biotechnology sector – This call promotes high and risky investments in the healthcare and biotechnology sector.
Accelerating market introduction of ICT solutions for Health, Well-Being and Ageing Well – The goal is to contribute to promising research in ICT for health, welfare and aging, resulting in new and effective products and services.
Stimulating the innovation potential of SMEs for sustainable and competitive agriculture, forestry, agri-food and bio-based sectors – The aim is to promote resource- and cost-effective solutions that ensure the production of safe, high quality and healthy food.
Supporting SMEs efforts for the development – deployment and market replication of innovative solutions for blue growth – This call supports risky and innovative ideas in the maritime and aquaculture/fisheries sectors with a particular focus on close-to-market solutions and potential for high growth and internationalization.
Stimulating the innovation potential of SMEs for a low carbon and efficient energy system – This call supports the development of resource-efficient, cost-effective and affordable technology solutions to decarbonize and improve the efficiency of energy in a sustainable way.
Small business innovation research for Transport and Smart Cities Mobility – The goal is to develop new services, products, processes, technologies and systems that will result in a sustainable and smarter transportation, improved availability, accessibility and logistics.
Boosting the potential of small businesses in the areas of climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials – This topic is targeted at all types of eco-innovative SMEs in all areas addressing the climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials challenge.
New business models for inclusive, innovative and reflective societies – The goal is to enable SMEs to innovate and grow across traditional boundaries, through new business models and organizational change.
Engaging SMEs in security research and development – This call aims to support innovative projects that can help to preserve the freedom and security of European

You are never going to have breakthrough ideas without risk – Dr Hermann Hauser

High-risk, high-reward ideas in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and synthetic biology are typical contenders for support from the EU’s new European Innovation Council (EIC), which aims to help European innovators and entrepreneurs scale up their ideas internationally, according to Dr Hermann Hauser, serial entrepreneur, who is a founding partner of Amadeus Capital and founder of ARM in the UK.

He heads up the EIC advisory board, which on 20 November published their first set of recommendations for the future direction of the EIC.

A three-year EIC pilot was launched on 27 October. Can you give us the crux of what this entails?

‘The scaling-up process is our top problem in Europe, and you’ve got to start very early in the process, telling companies even as they start what the next step of the process will be so that they can get themselves ready for that.

‘(The EIC pilot) will start with very early funding instruments to give researchers and small companies an opportunity to prototype their ideas and do feasibility studies, and then, when they grow into larger projects, to give them much more support in this second stage. Concretely, it brings together the parts of Horizon 2020 that provide funding, advice and networking opportunities for those at the cutting edge of innovation, such as the SME Instrument, the Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) and the Future and Emerging Technologies programme (FET Open). It is a first step towards a fully fledged EIC.’

What is the inspiration for the fully fledged EIC?

‘What we are trying to do with the EIC is to replicate the success of the European Research Council by ensuring that we support innovation in Europe in the same way that the European Research Council has supported research in Europe. If the pilot of the EIC is successful, as we very much hope it will be, we believe that we will be able to expand that substantially for the framework programme line (the EU’s research funding programme) after 2020, where we do believe that the EIC must be a key pillar.’

You’ve recommended that, as with the European Research Council, the EIC focuses on excellence rather than political or geographical criteria. Is this about supporting the person rather than the idea? 

‘I wouldn’t say that but, like the European Research Council, there is no condition on having multiple countries involved in the project. It can be single countries and it can also be single companies. There is an emphasis on the entrepreneur and the talented people, that’s right, but the quality of the idea is very important, too. For that reason, we are recommending to apply a bottom-up approach and to design the evaluation and selection of EIC Awards (the funding it allocates) in ways that promote excellence, enable risk taking and align interest with investors, in particular private ones.’

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‘Europe has a phenomenal reputation for world-class research, but our ability to make the best of our research in our economy is not as good as it is in America.’
Dr Hermann Hauser  (Chair, European Innovation Council High Level Group)

 

Swarming drones could help fight Europe’s megafires

Swarms of firefighting drones could one day be deployed to tackle hugely destructive megafires that are becoming increasingly frequent in the Mediterranean region because of climate change, arson and poor landscape management.

It’s one of a number of initiatives looking at how best to fight large fires from the air – a challenge that’s becoming more and more common.

A 2017 report on forest fires by the EU’s Joint Research Centre said that the year would ‘likely be remembered as one of the most devastating wildfire seasons in Europe since records began’, after the destruction of nearly 700,000 hectares of land in the EU by early September.

Such fires are dangerous not only for people who live in the area but also for the crews of people whose job it is to put the fires out. But using intelligent robots to scout the area and drop water can allow humans to stand further back from the danger zone, only looking at the drones’ data to make decisions from the safety of a command and control centre.

Because drones can fly day or night and gain rapid access to previously inaccessible urban or rural fires they can help to save both the lives of the public and first responders.

Torrential

Multiple autonomous drones dropping 600 litres of water every minute during the night while other unmanned vehicles refill to repeat the attack on a raging fire is the vision of Spanish company Drone Hopper. Despite this torrential approach, ‘we are not meant to be competitors with the airplanes and helicopters, we want to be complementary,’ Drone Hopper’s chief executive officer, Pablo Flores, said.

Their drone uses heat cameras to locate the fire, analyse it, send back the data, and identify what type of fire it is. At just over a metre and a half in length, it can be deployed from an aircraft, as well as a ground vehicle.

The drone is like a helicopter and can hover directly over a specific burning area, but it has many propellers. Once over its target it will release its liquid cargo as a mist designed specifically for the fire type identified.

A mist is good at fighting fire because it cools the area by evaporation and it blocks the transfer of heat to anything flammable nearby. To create the right type of mist, the Drone Hopper uses a proprietary magnetic system and the jet wash from its many propellers to direct the released water and nebulise it.

Flores wants to offer his drone, which is still in development, to local authorities for firefighting. ‘They can’t buy a $30 million airplane, but can have this platform and have their own means to (tackle a fire).’ He says that the Drone Hopper UAV costs five times less per litre than a water tanker aircraft.

But, there is a regulatory obstacle. At the moment, it hasn’t been proven that drones can reliably act autonomously, so national rules generally require each one to have a human remote pilot.

Dr Nazim Kemal Ure, an assistant professor in the aerospace department at Istanbul Technical University in Turkey, said: ‘With multiple autonomous systems many things can be achieved much more quickly.’

Swarming

He is developing a way of coordinating drones that he hopes could contribute to a change in regulation. By the end of the year, Dr Ure expects to be field testing autonomous drones and their swarming algorithms, developed under the DUF project.

Like Drone Hopper, ‘we are detecting the fire by using vision,’ Dr Ure explained. In initial testing the image processing will not be done by the drones, but eventually in real-world flight-testing the algorithms will be installed onboard.

His drones would fly over a burning area and, by examining the vegetation and wind direction and other factors, predict the fire’s spread and direction. With that information they would then precisely drop retardant to stop the fire.

Dr Ure added that further flight-testing may see cooperation with the Turkish government’s Ministry of Forestry and involve a controlled fire.

However, there is work yet to be done to improve the computer-generated fire images in the simulated environment they are using for training the artificial intelligence. ‘Our models are, in the graphical parts, not state-of-the-art,’ said Dr Ure. He wants to have ‘hyper-realistic’ fire for the drones’ vision analysis software to learn from. For him, that will help ensure the drones will operate well in the real world.

And in the real world, Dr Ure sees many other applications. ‘I would like to extend this algorithm to other scenarios such as search and rescue and planetary exploration,’ he said.

 

Types of forest fires

Ground fires occur 25 to 50 cm underground and move slowly, burning through peat and roots. They are notoriously difficult to put out and, if the conditions are right, they can smoulder through the winter and then move above ground in spring.

Surface fires move at a speed of between 3 and 300 metres per minute but burn only the lower vegetation and leave the trees unaffected. Of all the fires, they cause the least damage and are usually easy to put out.

Ladder fires climb up the taller trees and engulf smaller vegetation. Vines and invasive plants help the fire gain momentum.

Crown fires burn trees all the way to the canopy and are the hottest and most dangerous of wildfires. They can spread quickly and are very difficult to put out, partly due to the height of the flames. They can spread beyond natural firebreaks such as rivers through a process called spotting, where wind or hot air carries a piece of burning wood elsewhere and starts a new fire.

Swarming drones could help fight Europe’s megafires.

‘We are not meant to be competitors with the airplanes and helicopters, we want to be complementary.’
Pablo Flores  (CEO, Drone Hopper)

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  • Nunc tincidunt augue in enim sollicitudin feugiat.
  • Phasellus sit amet velit auctor turpis rhoncus.
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  • Nullam id dolor in ex eleifend tempus.
  • Etiam id lorem vel neque faucibus fermentum.
  • Nunc tincidunt augue in enim sollicitudin feugiat.

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed varius ultricies metus. Donec ac ex porta libero venenatis sodales. Sed efficitur eget risus sed molestie. Nulla blandit bibendum metus ut sagittis. Etiam quis semper justo. Sed tristique facilisis felis ut tincidunt. Phasellus auctor convallis nisl ut accumsan. Suspendisse ullamcorper fermentum lectus, vel tincidunt ligula mollis sit amet.

news-detail-2Aliquam at ante at elit efficitur tincidunt a quis neque. Donec ut pulvinar metus. Pellentesque lobortis volutpat eros sed sagittis. Nunc rutrum ex eu auctor tristique. Maecenas suscipit vestibulum nunc nec placerat. Phasellus blandit augue nunc, consequat consectetur augue placerat sed. Aenean fermentum scelerisque lectus, sit amet ultricies ex interdum bibendum. Quisque porttitor, enim maximus convallis gravida, dui arcu lacinia libero, quis ornare nibh elit pharetra massa.

Nunc tincidunt, elit non cursus euismod, lacus augue ornare metus, egestas imperdiet nulla nisl quis mauris. Suspendisse a pharetra urna. Morbi dui lectus, pharetra nec elementum eget, vulputate ut nisi.

Nunc tincidunt, elit non cursus euismod, lacus augue ornare metus, egestas imperdiet nulla nisl quis mauris. Suspendisse a pharetra urna. Morbi dui lectus, pharetra nec elementum eget, vulputate ut nisi.

Nunc tincidunt, elit non cursus euismod, lacus augue ornare metus, egestas imperdiet nulla nisl quis mauris. Suspendisse a pharetra urna. Morbi dui lectus, pharetra nec elementum eget, vulputate ut nisi.

Nunc tincidunt, elit non cursus euismod, lacus augue ornare metus, egestas imperdiet nulla nisl quis mauris. Suspendisse a pharetra urna. Morbi dui lectus, pharetra nec elementum eget, vulputate ut nisi. Aliquam accumsan, nulla sed feugiat vehicula, lacus justo semper libero, quis porttitor turpis odio sit amet ligula.

Video courses to build new skills from start to finish.

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Amber Ivy  (Grancie Company)

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed varius ultricies metus. Donec ac ex porta libero venenatis sodales. Sed efficitur eget risus sed molestie. Nulla blandit bibendum metus ut sagittis.